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Mainz 05
A. Witsel (87)

Rose supplies injury updates ahead of Mainz clash

By Peter Weis   @PeterVicey

BVB head-coach Marco Rose provided squad updates ahead of midweek make-up league match against Mainz at his Tuesday press conference. 
Marco Rose.
Marco Rose.
With a midweek round 25 make-up match in hand, they 2021/22 German Bundesliga's second-place team arithmetically has a chance to close the gap between themselves and defending champions FC Bayern München with a win away at Mainz on Wednesday evening. If Borussia Dortmund wins (away at Köln) and Bayern loses (at home to Union Berlin) next weekend, the title challengers could be just one point behind the record champions with seven rounds to go.

BVB trainer Marco Rose made clear he didn't wish to discuss the possibility of a title-race revival at his Tuesday presser. The former Mainz player fielded questions about such an hypothetical calmly, emphasizing that his team was merely focused on the match ahead.

"There's a lot of conjecture in those questions," Rose noted, "We have a chance of attaining a positive result and banking three more points."

As has always been the case this season, the more pertinent questions at a BVB press conference revolved around injury statuses. Mainz have yet another COVID outbreak to deal with. Dortmund, however, are once again beset by absences.

Rose confirmed that defensive lynchpin Mats Hummels had rejoined squad training on Monday after testing negative for COVID and showing no symptoms. As to whether the German national team defender will be ready to start tomorrow, Rose spoke of consultations with the team doctor and stressed that he only wished to use his veteran "responsibly".

As for three other defenders--Raphaël Guerreiro, Manuel Akanji, and Dan Axel-Zagadou--the prospects range from "no chance" to "highly unlikely". Guerreiro has not been able to test negative and exit quarantine yet. Akanji and Axel-Zagadou are both on the road to rehabilitation, but "need more time.". Rose indicated that Akanji might be ready for a start soon, but not before the weekend.

Dortmund will have to do without their talismanic captain once again. Marco Reus remains ill and is such not a topic. Regarding attackers Erling Haaland and Giovanni Reyna--both of whom returned from injury to put in relief shifts during Sunday's win over Bielefeld--Rose hinted at more minutes for both.

"They coped well with 30 minutes [of sub time]," Rose said, "Training and playing are different matters entirely, but it [the sub time] did them both good. We want to gradually give both of them more playing time."

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